162- Numbers 8 – Thus
If these devotional posts are at all helpful to you I hope they do three things. One, I hope to inspire you to see that you too can study the Bible more deeply. Two, I hope the devotional posts help us all to slow our Bible reading down enough to notice details we may otherwise read past. Three, most importantly I hope the devotional posts cause you and I to appreciate Yahweh for who He is and cause us to glorify Him!
We don’t have to camp very long, but in our trek through Numbers chapter eight let’s consider verse fourteen.
Thus you shall separate the Levites from among the children of Israel, and the Levites shall be Mine.
As I’m sure you know, as we study our way through the Bible we should be looking up keywords in the source language lexicons. One reason we do this is to see the range of possible meanings for the important words and try to get a broader understanding of the text. However, sometimes it is prudent to look up seemingly unimportant words as well. In verse fourteen the seemingly unimportant word I’m talking about is the first word in the verse – the word “thus”.
Thus is a conjunction represented by a single Hebrew letter called the Vav (or some say Wow) and it looks like an apostrophe with a long stem. This simple one-letter Hebrew word (or prefix to other words) has been translated by the New King James Version as; “then”, “but”, “so”, “that” “now”, “nor”, “also”, “therefore”, “or”, and well over half the time it is translated as the word “and”.
“Thus” is the exact same word translated “and” in the latter part of the verse, “and the Levites shall be Mine”. You might ask, “is it really a big deal?”
Maybe not, but it is important to notice that it is a conjunction signaling that verse fourteen does not stand alone but rather is connected to previous verses. The single letter represented by the single English word indicates there was a process defined by God that must be followed in order to get into position so the Levites were indeed recognized as belonging to God.
Verse fourteen is so easily dismissed but is so incredibly beautiful! What a tremendous honor for the Levites! God told them, “you are mine”, wow! Separated out, then called His. I can think of many, many scriptural examples where this pattern “called out, called His [God’s]” is repeated.
Consider Abraham who was called out of his homeland by God.
1 Now the LORD had said to Abram:
“Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
Then there was David who separated out from among all of his brothers.
1 Samuel 16:12-13
12 So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the LORD said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!”
13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah.
I’m sure you can come up with many more examples. How about Joseph, Ruth, Ester, the prophets? In every Biblical example if the ones called by God lived as belonging to Him they did well and prospered.
Look at Colossians 1:13-14
13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed [or transferred] us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,
14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
So what about us? We’ve been called out, conveyed, or transferred into the Kingdom of Jesus. Are we living as a people owned or redeemed by God?
Whether it is one word, one, verse, one chapter or more God’s word can speak volumes to our souls if we will but consider it!
I love the Word of God and hope you do too!
All Scripture Quotations from The New King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982. Print.
May 17, 2020 (11:46 pm)
Mark, Thank you for your work. I love your writing and the clarity of your message
May 18, 2020 (8:30 am)